Mechanical flexure is a source of major failures in astronomical spectrographs, for which the reimaging of a focal-plane pinhole has to be maintained in position within a fraction of a CCD pixel that has dimensions of the order of 15 μm. The <i>d</i>.<i>o</i>.<i>lo</i>.<i>res</i>. (an acronym for device optimized for low resolution) spectrograph for the Italian national telescope, Galileo, showed displacements of the image of the pinhole more than 10 times greater than expected. The mechanical failure was overcome by the insertion of a passive optical wedge that can add an out-of-phase circle to the flexure ellipse. The results encourage the use of the gravitational eccentric correction optics (GECO) optical-gravitational device in all astronomical observations made with the <i>d</i>.<i>o</i>.<i>lo</i>.<i>res</i>. spectrograph.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Paolo Conconi, Emilio Molinari, and Giuseppe Crimi, "Gravitational eccentric correction optics (GECO): An Optical-Gravitational Device to Compensate for Flexures in Astronomical Spectrographs," Appl. Opt. 41, 193-196 (2002)